Legal conference calls among attorneys and judges, and for conducting depositions, is growing exponentially — not only because it’s convenient and time-saving, but because of other extenuating circumstances such as the pandemic. Even the Supreme Court of the U.S. is using conferencing to conduct hearings. Traditional phone conferencing has proven to be a reliable way to save time and money by enabling both plaintiffs, defendants and courts to communicate more easily.
Providing conferencing services to the legal profession is one of our core services at 24Conference and you can go directly to our legal service page here. Overall, what used to take several hours can now be condensed on a conference call in a fraction of the time. Better yet, attorneys never have to leave their offices.
There are no set up fees and billing is done on a pay as you go basis. You only pay for the time on the conferencing bridge you actually use.
The three most popular formats for phone conferencing for law offices are:
1) Operator managed conference calls: Our professional conference operators call out to each of your parties and place them into a conference bridge. You give us a list of the names and phone numbers ahead of time, and let us know when you want our operators to dial out to each of them. Usually, you will receive the first call so you are in the conference first. Then, a call will be placed to the opposing lawyer(s), and then, finally, the judge if one is involved. Your conference is secured and you can talk as along as you want. This preferred service is very helpful since all of your parties only have to answer the phone.
2) Toll-free dial-in conference calls: Simply, we give you a toll-free conference access number and set of two passcodes. You use the host passcode to enter the conference and your guests use the guest (or conferee) passcodes. Prior to the conference you alert your guests of the time they should call-in, along with the providing them the toll-free access number and the guest passcode. (When you call the toll-free number, you will be prompted to enter your respective passcode, followed by the # sign.) While you may not have the convenience of having an operator call you, there are several advantages. First, you can use the service anytime 24/7 without reservations. And second, you can get separate passcodes for each of your partners or associates so everyone has their own personal conference codes which makes it easier to sort expenses. It also enables you to have simultaneous conference calls at the same time without any conflicts.
3) Video conferencing for law offices: We provide both per-minute and flat-rate plans depending on your law firm’s needs. While 95% of the legal and deposition conference calls are simply conducted over the phone, there are many law firms that have adopted video conferencing as part of their protocols. In the past, some of these facilities have cost tens of thousands of dollars to install. Unfortunately, the centers were hardly used and the equipment quickly became obsolete. However, with the advances technology, the costs have been slashed dramatically.
With the advent of desktop conferencing, and with video cameras now built into laptops, the cost of conducting a video conference is next to nothing. If you don’t have a webcam, you can purchase one now for as little as $35. Services such as Skype and Zoom can be used for free to conduct video conferences anywhere at anytime.
Be Very Careful — Security is Important
However, the free services are easily hacked and can turn into a nightmare. That’s why the vast majority of law firms pay to retain the services of a professional conference company that has much higher encryption protocols and standards.
Whether you take advantage of either the phone or video options, there is no cost to set-up your account and we charge your credit card after your calls. Also, there are no long term contracts or agreements and you can terminate your service at anytime without penalty.
Adopting the latest conference technology for your law firm will help in many ways — cutting costs, saving time, along with improving your negotiating processes. Give us a call at 877-254-2424 and we can work with you to come up with the conferencing solution that works best for your law firm needs and objectives. We serve hundreds of law firms across the United States and look forward to adding you to our growing list of satisfied clients.
Each Participating Law Firm Can be Billed Separately
Another big advantage to using a professional legal conference service is that each party can be billed separately, thus saving one law firm the trouble of allocating expenses among a couple or several different firms. Quite simply, everyone gets their own separate bill — it’s called “individualized billing.” The procedure it very simple: The opposing law firms each set up a conference account. Once the account is opened, the coordinating law firm informs the service of the time the call will take place. We will then dial-out and call each participant, or the participants can call into a toll free number themselves. Either way, the conference service will have an operator organizing the call to make sure all the parties are present. Each law firm is billed separately for its portion of the cost for the deposition conference call. So it is no longer necessary for one law firm to send another law firm an invoice. Each law firm is billed, and each law firm pays its own share of the conference expense directly to the conference service.
Good for Court Reporters / Stenographers
Calls can be digitally recorded and downloaded — so lawyers and stenographers can work in real time or have backup to prepare transcripts. As an aside, court reporters can also resell or become agents and increase revenues for their firms by adding a value added service such as law firm conferencing to their menu of available services. They can simple outsource the service as well, without the need of hiring additional staff or worrying about equipment costs.
Help from Professional Operators on Your Calls
But the biggest advantage to outsourcing law firm conferences is the having being managed by a professional operator. Operator conference calls constitute the highest level of service available and involve full time operators who call each participating party and put them into a conference call. Quite simply, a list of the participant names and phone numbers is emailed to the phone conference call company, along with the schedule and time of the conference, and whatever billing codes the law firm assigns the case. At the designated time, operators will call out to each participant and begin the conference call. This is very convenient and there is no requirement for you to call into the conference yourself. If requested, an operator will be on the call to handle any technical issues that may arise.
Teleconferencing is proving to be a boom in expediting legal processes that used to tie up manpower and office staff. In other words, more cases can be handled in less time. There are many applications and reasons why law firms are adopting this technology. But primarily, attorneys are finding that depositions, or conferences with judges, are ideal purposes for using audio conferencing.
Outsourcing Legal Conferencing Services vs. In-house
Law firms also have the choice of getting their own conference hardware and software which can be quite expensive to set up and maintain. However, the vast majority find that is much less trouble to just outsource the conferencing service. There are no up front costs, no set up fees, no equipment to buy or maintain, no long term contracts, and you are only charged for what you use — avoiding all overhead costs.
There are many advantages to outsourcing conferencing services. First, there are no contracts that commit you to a level of future usage or monthly service charges or termination clauses. Second, you pay-as-you-go. You are only charged for the services you use, when you use them.
Better yet, you can get invoices that can be coded to specific cases so accounting can have a much each job of allocating expenses. Law firm administrators who used to be forced to divide the costs of legal conference calls among the various participants and opposing law firms, are relieved to find out that those days are long gone. Law firm conference services can bill each party separately, thus saving additional aggravation and streamlining back office operations.
As stated, billing is pay-as-you-go, so you are never charged for more service than what you need or use. If there are some days, weeks or months, the service isn’t used, there are no costs levied and no monthly minimum usage. All in all, the adoption of teleconferencing to better manage depositions and increase law firm productivity is soaring in popularity.
Law firms have used conference calls for decades, but more recently, have embraced the technology to include depositions and other legal proceedings that have traditionally been conducted face-to-face. Judges are also beginning to encourage the use of conferencing to save time and money.
Give us a call today at 877-254-2424 and we’ll be happy to help you get set up quickly and easily for your next legal conference call.